Saturday, August 29, 2015


Dear Matt,

Thanks for the happy moment you gave us at I Know You Rider Endurance Ride. We only knew you for a little bit, but your kindness and cheerful words, and popsicles, gave us great cheer at the end of a hot dusty ride.

Rest in Peace,

The Oreana Riders.

Mathew Buzis obituary

American Pharoah

It's not Endurance.... but what a horse! Races today (Saturday August 29) at Saratoga Springs.

From the NYT article:

As magical as racehorses are in full flight, the horse people who filled the racetrack here Friday felt privileged to experience American Pharoah at rest — especially his trainer, Baffert.

“I think I know how it feels to be a Secret Service agent,” he said, “and to protect a precious package.” the full New York Times article here

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pegasus Awards - Accepting Nominations

August 26 2015

The United States Equestrian Federation is once again accepting nominations for the 2015 USEF Pegasus Awards. These are some of the most prestigious awards the USEF has to offer, and are in large measure determined by distinguished nominators.
Please think carefully about the most notable stand-outs your organization has to offer—horsemen and women who truly embody the spirit of the Pegasus, and following the enclosed criteria, submit your top candidates. Befitting of this extraordinary honor, winners will be recognized and celebrated during the formal Pegasus Awards Gala at the 2016 USEF Annual Meeting January 15, 2016.  

To make a nomination you must be a current USEF member. Click here to make a nomination. Nominations can also be made online on the USEF homepage  Please click the “Pegasus Awards Nominations” link on the right side of the home page and log in as an Authorized User. 

If you are an affiliate and would like to make a nomination, click here.

To view the distinguished list of winners from last year, click here.

To make a nomination for the EQUUS award, click here.

To see a complete listing of winners and how the awards are selected, go to this page.
• Jimmy A. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award                      October 5, 2015
• Pegasus Medal of Honor Award                                      October 5, 2015
• Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award                            October 5, 2015
• Richard E. McDevitt Award of Merit                                October 5, 2015
• Ellen Scripps Davis Memorial Breeders’ Cup                        October 30, 2015
• Junior Equestrian of the Year                                     October 30, 2015
• EQQUS Foundation Humanitarian Award                               October 30, 2015
• Equestrians of Honor                                              November 9, 2015
• Horses of the Year                                                November 9, 2015
Nominations must be received by 5:00 p.m. ET on each of the above deadlines. Nominations should be submitted to the USEF Marketing Department, attention Trisha Watkins, faxed to (859)231-6662 or mailed to the USEF’s Lexington office:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

RN’s Love of Horses Sets Her on Long Endurance Ride - Full Article

August 13, 2015 Get To Know

One Registered Nurse accomplished her childhood dream of owning horses and has spent the past 18 years participating in trail endurance rides. She shares her memories from the competitions and how horses have shaped her livelihood.

Ericka Bjorum-Nelson jokingly asked her dad if he ever felt guilty about not getting her a pony growing up. Smiling he said, “Yes, but I got over it.”

Luckily for Ericka, she turned her childhood dreams of owning horses into a reality.
trail endurance rides

She got her first horse in 1997 and has spent her life as a horse-owner in a different way from most — as an endurance horse rider participating in several rides crossing many miles per year.

“I heard about endurance horse riding back in the ‘80s,” explains Ericka, RN, OCN, in Renown Infusion Services. “I finally was able to start endurance riding in 1998, when I found a mentor and she helped me get started...”

Read more here:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Trails Matter: New Blog

August 23 2015, the world's foremost website for current and archived news and stories and related subjects concerning Endurance riding around the world, has launched a new blog, "Trails Matter."

Trails issues and accessibility are quickly becoming one of the highest priority concerns for not just endurance riders, but equestrians around the country. Rising fees for state and federal land usage, limited "heartbeats" on wilderness trails, the movement to transfer federal lands to states (and ultimately private or industrial use), private land closures because of liability, trail closures due to lack of maintenance; all are just a sample of issues that affect riders' rights to ride on trails, and ride managers' ability to put on endurance rides now and in the future.

The new "Trails Matter" blog will consolidate trails news regarding trails, and funding sources for trail projects, from leading trails advocate groups such as Backcountry Horsemen, ELCR (Equine Land Conservation Resource), AHC (American Horse Council), and other diverse sources. The news will be in an easily-searchable archive by date or keywords.

Follow the blog at

AERC Youth Representative

Are you a young rider between the age of 12 and 21? Do you want to help AERC grow into the future?

AERC has a Youth Representative position - an opportunity for you to attend board meetings, learn how AERC does business, and help the Board of Directors make decisions about the sport. Statistically, we are an aging organization, with a median age of 52 according to recent numbers. We need more juniors and young riders participating - and you can help us figure out how to energize the sport.

You should be willing to attend board meetings and take part in discussions. You will be encouraged to speak on all of the issues but will not have a formal vote. There are two board meetings at AERC convention: Thursday evening and Sunday morning. Additionally the board meets every month by conference call and holds one mid-year meeting. You should have ideas to share with the board about improving junior and young rider participation and keeping the board in tune with the younger generation. You will also become an active member of the Junior Committee.

We would like to select a few individuals to qualify as Youth Representatives so that one person doesn't have to do it all. If you are interested send a letter by post or by email to the AERC office telling us your age, your riding experience, and why you would like to be an AERC Youth Representative. Please include a letter of recommendation from a senior AERC member.

Get involved, we need you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Horse Radio Network in Top 5 Podcasts Worldwide and Horsemanship Radio is Along for the Ride

August 18, 2015 Solvang, California: Horsemanship Radio is proud to be a part of Horse Radio Network represented at the 2015 Podcast Movement, an international podcasting conference held this year in Fort Worth, Texas and happens to be the largest podcasting conference in the world. Founder of the Horse Radio Network, Glenn Hebert developed it into one of the top five podcasting networks in the world, as announced at the conference last week. It’s a unique position for an equine internet radio show to be amongst the most successful podcasts in the world.

Their growth happened with a lot of hard work and a belief that if you have fun, others will join you. One show grew to eight and two hosts grew to twenty. Now 130,000 listeners in 92 countries, have sought out the network. To date, HRN has 4,200 episodes, featured over 6,000 guests and reviewed over 600 products. The largest show is ‘Horses in the Morning,’ airing every weekday morning in a radio-style format that’s unlike anything else in podcasting, especially in the horse world.
With an impressive 70% sponsor retention rate, no doubt the sponsoring companies including Equestrian Collections, Omega Alpha, Kentucky Performance Products, Index Fund Advisors, Omega Fields, and Monty Roberts University believe in and commit to HRN.
“We owe much of the success of HRN to our fabulous hosts,” Glenn humbly states. “We are so lucky to have the most entertaining, engaging hosts in the world of podcasting.” Glenn and his wife and partner Jenn Hebert, long time horsewomen herself, have been pleased with the response the show is getting by guests and listeners.

Podcasting is now going mainstream, assuring HRN can continue to dominate the horse world in Internet Radio.

Listener responses have been generous: "The Horsemanship Radio Show with Debbie is so good that although you air them on Horses In the Morning, I listen to them again on their download because they are just so inspiring.   Jen’s updates about Pablo are interesting as my quarter horse doesn’t seem to be real keen on going to our weekly lessons."  Shae, Canada 

The Horsemanship Radio Show is dedicated to the exploration of good horsemanship throughout the world. Recent guests have included Four Star Eventer Bunnie Sexton, Endurance Legend Beverly Gray, Christy Landwehr of the Certified Horsemanship Association and Temple Grandin, author and renowned animal behaviorist. 
Since launching in the fall of 2013, guest include Monty Roberts, Joel Baker, Charlotte Bredahl, Dr. Robert Miller, Ada Gates, Joe Camp, Phillip Ralls, Carrie Scrima, Sean McCarthy, Sandy Collier, Mark Herthel, Julie Malick, Leigh Wills and Ann Lindberg contributing their knowledge of horsemanship. Title sponsored by Index Fund Advisors with show sponsors and and hosted by Debbie Roberts Loucks (Monty Roberts' daughter) the show includes segments, tips and interviews exploring good horsemanship. is the fastest growing program on the Horse Radio Network which dominates horse programming podcasting in the United States. A podcast is nothing more than a radio show online.  The advantage over regular radio is the many choices of how and when to listen to the shows.  With podcasts people can listen on the website using the players in each show listings or by downloading the free app and listen on their ’smart’ phones. The shows are found in iTunes for free. It is all about choices.  People listen while cleaning stalls, on a trail ride, or driving to a horse show.

Host Debbie Roberts Loucks shared that “We are excited to be a part of the shaping of the way media helps the horse industry now." The shows are aired the 1st and 15th of every month and can be found here:  Or listeners can also search for the Horsemanship Radio on the Horse Radio Network here: or download the app here:

It can be found free on iTunes:
And Android:

DEBBIE ROBERTS LOUCKS joined her parents, Monty and Pat Roberts, in 2002 to build Monty Roberts’ international training schedule and oversee their publishing, product development and licensing. Monty Roberts is the world renowned Horse Whisperer and New York Times Bestselling author of The Man Who Listens to Horses. Pat Roberts is an internationally acclaimed sculptress of horses. A graduate of UCLA, Debbie has extensive experience in marketing as well as new business development. Debbie’s life-long work with horses, as well as her commitment with Monty to advance his concepts, uniquely qualifies her to extend the MPRI brand into a global leadership organization which has impacted millions of individuals, companies, organizations, governments and industries. She is credited with developing the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is already being considered the most effective educational tool for horsemen on the web. Learn more about Debbie at

Media Contact: Debbie Loucks
Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International
(949) 632-1856

AERC Regional Director Elections

It's time to nominate yourself or someone else for 2016-17 Regional Director -- these positions will be voted on in October and swearing in will take place at the 2016 convention. Call 866-271-2372 or email the office,, to sign up and pay the $5 nomination fee.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

AERC Board of Directors meeting, Denver Colorado

The American Endurance Ride Conference held it's annual mid-year meeting August 15 in Denver Colorado. Directed by board President Michael Campbell, the day was spent resolving several motions and proposals presented to the board and in informal sessions discussing the various aspects of AERC's long term strategic plan.

Board resolutions included:
-Extension of a media representative contract with Candace Fitzgerald (Dobbin Group)
-Approval of Tennessee Lane as Mountain Region director, to replace Peter Hommertzein
-Approval of AERC International committee's Young Rider stipend for a first FEI ride, an International committee dues increase, and reimbursement for expenses incurred at the North American Young Junior/Young Rider competition. Funds will come from committee reserves
-Proposal to raise rider fees in order to fund research projects was deferred back to Research Committee with recommendation to raise awareness of the need for endurance related equine research, and seek funding for specific projects
-A resolution from Trails Committee was adopted to oppose the transfer or sale of Federal Lands to State ownership
-Approval of an increase in the amount of reimbursement available to board members for travel and lodging expenses incurred while attending the mid-year board meeting
-Approval of a Youth Representative to participate in AERC board meetings in a non-voting capacity
-Proposal by Veterinary committee to further raise the amount of drug testing fees collected from riders in order to fund increased drug testing was referred back to committee with a suggestion to use reserve funds which are already in the drug testing account
-Proposal by Veterinary committee to allocate reserve funds in drug testing account to litigation purposes was deferred back to VC to fund increased drug testing for a year to evaluate the effect of doing so.

Treasurer Mollie Krumlaw presented the proposed 2016 AERC budget for discussion. The final budget will be approved in a November board session.

Board member John Parke conducted sessions discussing the various aspect of AERC's Strategic Plan, presenting details on various program aspects including Governance, Education, Trails and Finance. Parke also led an open session discussing ways to improve board efficiency and communication.

Steph Teeter, AERC NW Regional Director

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Endurance Trail Riding: Shamong's Hanna Weightman Places Second in Nationals - Full Article

By William H. Kile III

Hanna Weightman, 17, a junior at Seneca High School, describes Rabi, an 8-year-old chestnut Arabian mare, as “pretty laid back and a joy to ride and be around.”

View and purchase photos
Hanna Weightman is making quite a name for herself in the sport of endurance trail riding – and she has done so in a very short time.

Weightman earned a silver medal in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) last month in Lexington, Kent. It was quite an accomplishment since the 17-year-old from Shamong hasn’t been endurance trail riding for very long.

In 2014, Weightman was introduced to Dr. Margaret Sleeper, a native of Burlington County who now resides in Frenchtown...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tevis 2015 Featured Older Equine Athletes Blog - Full Article

by Erica Larson
11 August 2015

There are few things I get more excited about than seeing older equine athletes either still competing at the top of their sport or taking a step down and becoming a schoolmaster for younger or less experienced riders.

For instance, at this year’s North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, held in July at the Kentucky Horse Park, I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw two former four-star eventers—Remington XXV and Twizzel (who represented the United States at the 2012 London Olympics), both 19—each giving a young rider the rides of their lives around the cross-country portion of the event.

And I was just as excited when one of our freelancer writers, Marsha Hayes, mentioned that there were several older horses taking part in this year’s Tevis Cup—a 100-mile endurance ride through the mountains of California.

I asked Marsha to keep an eye on the older competitors while she was covering the event for, and here’s what she had to say:...

- See more at:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 Tevis Cup: Honor and Grit and Kristine Hartman

Tevis Cup rider Kristine Hartman takes the slogans "No Wimps" and "Put your big girl panties on" to new levels.

August 11 2015
by Merri

With a less-than-50% chance of finishing to begin with, the 100-mile Tevis Cup, one of the hardest endurance rides in the world, is tough enough to ride and complete even when everything works out right.

But breaking an arm in the middle of the ride, and going on to finish it? That takes some extra special chutzpah that most of us mortals don't have. "It's called having a high tolerance of pain, thrown in with being tough, or thinking they're tough, and also stupid, or certifiably crazy," says Kristine Hartman, a rider who did just that on August 1st.

And it was all because of Amber.

At 27-years-young, in June a paddock accident took Kristine's once-in-a-lifetime horse, FS Amber, that Kristine was fortunate to have for 20 years. "I did my first 5 Tevises on her, and she meant the world to me," Kristine says. "Twenty years, and I bet 20 million memories will continue to make me smile, laugh, cuss, cry and talk about so many Amber moments. I was blessed."

Kristine and her husband Mike had Amber cremated, and when they got Amber's ashes back on July 2nd, that's when she decided to ride Tevis again, and take Amber's ashes with her, to scatter along the trail. Kristine thought it should be a "mare thing," so she chose to ride Mike's horse Count on Tessie Flyin, in Tessie's first 100-mile ride.

And everything was fine, in the first part of the ride. The pair was moving along well, covering the first 36 miles into Robinson Flat, the first vet check, in 32nd place, and less than an hour behind the front-runners. Tessie handled everything well: the crowd of 200 starters, the rugged trails through the Granite Chief wilderness. Next came the 32 miles to the next vet check at Foresthill, through the steep and deep, hot and humid canyons.

Everything was fine then too, until 5 or 6 miles from Foresthill. That's when it happened, at the bottom of Volcano Canyon. Kristine had been off running the downhills, and as she was close to the bottom of the canyon and at a flat spot, she remounted Tessie. Tessie walked the last two little switchbacks down into the creek - "we're talking the kind of creek where you think, How the hell can anybody fall in this?" - and Tessie got her hoof wedged in the rocks, and started to panic and scramble and stumble. Kristine thought, She's going down, I better bail, because if Tessie fell on her against the rocks, Kristine was going to break a hip or a leg. Kristine says she is good at tucking and rolling, "but you can't tuck n roll when you're in a creek bed with rocks and boulders!"

She hit the creek face first, but put her left arm out to block her face. "I remember coming up and being totally wet, and having water dripping in my eyes as I was trying to jump up to see if Tessie was okay."

As Tessie scrambled back up, the mare's left shoulder and leg were covered in blood, starting a panic attack for Kristine, thinking her horse was badly injured.

"It's actually kind of funny as i think about it now," Kristine says. "I didn't realize it at first, but my left elbow was pulsing blood out, and it was shooting onto her. And being wet, and being a gray horse - just picture it - you're shaky, trying to evaluate your horse, look at your cattywampus saddle, get it situated, and check out Tessie. I kept reaching down for water and throwing it up on her shoulder to wash the blood off, and I couldn't see a cut. Then I'd reach down and look under her belly, and then the blood would be down her shoulder and leg again, and I kept thinking, Oh my God.

"Then it hit me, duh, she was okay. I was the one who was hurt. I remember talking to her - I was in a pocket with nobody in front and nobody behind me for a while - I even told her, 'Tessie, I think my arm's broken.' It hurt really bad."

Kristine tried to stick her elbow in the water to slow down the bleeding, but with the water too shallow to hold her elbow down in there, she found it simpler just to lay down in the creek, holding a patient Tessie's lead rope in her other hand. "I remember laying there for a couple minutes, thinking, 'Okay, okay, let's relax, get the breathing back.' I couldn't get the bleeding to stop, so I finally said 'Okay Tessie, we gotta get out of here!'"

Kristine's foremost concern - now that Tessie was uninjured - was not getting to Foresthill to get help. It was to keep the blood from soaking her bright yellow hydration vest. "Isn't it funny how we don't care if we get dirty, but since that vest was made to soak up water, I didn't want to get it bloody, so I was keeping my arm out like a chicken wing!"

She started feeling ill after walking up a few switchbacks, so she managed to mount Tessie from the off side. Then she left the driving to Tessie, as she fumbled with opening a roll of vet wrap with her teeth and one good arm, and winding the wrap around her elbow. "Tessie was amazing. She trotted along; she was just awesome! She was rating herself so well, climbing the switchbacks; then she would trot on the flat. And the whole time I was wrapping my arm, I just put the reins down on her neck, and she was just going like a good girl."

Eventually the two reached the top of Bath Road, the approach into the vet check at Foresthill. The final 50 yards of road is lined with crews and spectators, who cheer tired riders and horses on in, giving spirits a lift. "About all I remember is Tessie trotting along, coming into the crowds. I love the memory of the sound of the crowd. Everybody's cheering, and it's always fun. So the cheering went from 'Clap Clap Clap Yay!' to 'Oooooh!" when they saw my arm, which I was still holding up like a chicken wing."

Things got a bit fuzzy after Kristine rode up to her crew, including husband Mike, who lifted her off her horse. "Honey, I hurt my arm," she remembers saying. She kept worrying about getting Tessie through the vet check while everyone else was worrying about getting Kristine to a doctor. "I'm fine!" Kristine kept insisting, though she was going into shock.

A nurse in the crowd ran up to her with a washcloth full of ice, and Kristine was worried about returning her white washcloth covered with blood. While Kristine's crew took over vetting her horse in, Mike steered Kristine to the area where the horses were treated, and he sat her down in a chair. "Next thing I knew, I was not feeling good," she says. "I started to pass out, and they laid me down on a tarp, and then next thing I knew, the ambulance and fire truck were pulling right in there for me." Whereas most of the rest of us probably would have felt relief that help had arrived, Kristine was discomfited. "How embarrassing!"

she has her riding crop beside her, ready to get back to riding!

With everyone staring down at her, making plans to take her to the hospital, she insisted she was fine, and wanted to continue riding. Her blood pressure was low; her blood sugar was low; her hydration was low. They wanted to give her an IV, but she said no, she wanted to ride. One man, "kind of stern guy," asked if she was going to let them take her to the hospital. Kristine kept repeating the mantra, "I'm fine, I'm going to go ride, I'm going to finish this ride! How many times do I have to say it?"

It was all about Amber, you see. "I'd been spreading her ashes the whole way. I was determined to spread those ashes the whole rest of the way!"

Kristine signed a waiver refusing medical attention, other than having her arm wrapped. "Then of course I got the really bad shakes." Her crew helped her put on dry clothes, and stuffed food and liquid down her. Mike bandaged her arm further for padding, with yellow vet wrap to match her outfit. "That's important!" Kristine laughs.

She was only ten minutes late leaving Foresthill at 7:27 PM for the last 32 miles of her journey to Auburn with Tessie and, in spirit, Amber. "My arm hurt like hell, but I was on a high. It's amazing. To me, it shows you what the human body can do. Yes, I had a little shock and felt a little faint, but I got determined again, and off I went."

Through Francisco's at 85 miles at 10:57 PM, and the Lower Quarry at 94 miles at 1:07 AM, she rode, and the vets checked her elbow at each stop, as it was "puffing up pretty big" beneath the vet wrap. And along the way, she scattered Amber's ashes, all the way through the victory lap at the finish line in the stadium in Auburn, at 2:15 AM, in 25th place.

Tessie passed her finish vet check, and after the cheers and hugs subsided, and Kristine walked Tessie back to her crew, it hit her. "All of a sudden - it was hard to admit - I said 'I'm not feeling good!' and I started to pass out." She had to lay down on the bleachers by her horse, who was busy eating. "That just shows that after your adrenaline wears off, then your body is again trying to protect things it needs to protect."

It still wasn't until 9 AM the next morning that Kristine got around to visiting the hospital. It was too late for sutures for the gashes, but they did cast her radial head fracture of the elbow. She refused pain meds (as she had all during the ride), though she did accept antibiotics, since she had laid in a muddy creek trying to staunch her blood flow.

Kristine didn't - and still doesn't - really understand what all the fuss was about. "Yes, it hurt, but I have a high tolerance for pain. I didn't even question that this was going to stop me from riding, so when I came in to Foresthill, and Mike and crew and people were saying, 'Ohhhhh, you're not going to be able to go on' - hearing those words… I thought, 'What!? Sure I can!'

"I never even thought I would not go on. I absolutely had to finish to honor Amber."

The joke among Kristine and Mike and her crew is that it was really Amber who threw Kristine off into the creek one last time, down in Volcano Canyon. "That's because for the 20 years I owned Amber, I came off of her a lot," Kristine says. "So she was probably up there snickering in her spirit. I was having a great day, doing this in honor of her, and she had to be like, 'OK mom, here's one more from me!'"

Kristine is grateful for her husband Mike and her great crew, which included all her three kids, together for the first time at the same time at the same ride. And she's thankful for her horses, and the event that is the Tevis Cup.

"Boy I'm proud of Tessie. She was incredible! It was an amazing event and very spiritual spreading Amber's ashes over the entire 100 miles. And Amber's spirit was so much a part of Tessie and I."

photos by Tevis Webcaster Volunteers and Mike Hartman

Susan Gibson, Race of Champions Originator, Passes Away

After a 3-year battle with breast cancer, Susan Gibson passed away peacefully at her home in Paso Robles, California on August 8.

For 37 years Susan produced the award-winning TrailBlazer magazine, and she was the organizer of the Race of Champions, the ultimate endurance riding test of its day.

TrailBlazer will no longer be published, but the final issue that Susan was working on at the time of her passing is available on TrailBlazer's website:

AERC board member meeting in Denver, Colorado

The American Endurance Ride Conference will be holding it's annual mid-year board meeting in Denver, Colorado on August 15.

Items on the agenda include:

-Update on marketing program with media representative Candace FitzGerald

-Progress on implementation of AERC's Strategic Plan presented by John Parke

-Approval of Mountain Region director to replace Peter Hommertzeim who is stepping down

-Update on AERC finances, presented by treasurer Mollie Krumlaw-Smith

-Discussion of FEI progress pertaining to rules infractions and horse welfare in United Arab Emirates

-Discussion of Governance as pertains to Strategic Plan

Motions to be considered for board approval:

-Extension of media representative contract

-Offering stipend for a Young Rider's first FEI ride

-Dues increase for membership in AERC International

-Rider fee increase of $1 per rider for Research projects

-Land Transfer motion (opposition to transfer of Federal funds to state ownership)

-Increase expense reimbursement to board members for travel/lodging to attend mid-year board meeting

-Policy to appoint Youth Representative to attend board meetings in non-voting capacity

-Increase rider fee collected for drug testing from $3 to $5 per rider

-Designate reserve drug testing funds for litigation needs only

Monday, August 10, 2015

August's Endurance Day on Horses In The Morning with Karen Chaton

Tune into Horses in the Morning Endurance Day sponsored by the American Endurance Ride Conference on the Horse Radio Network on Tuesday, August 11th, 2015!

We have a great show planned that includes interviews with two North American Junior Young Riders Championship riders - Kelsey Russell and Annie Whelan. We'll also be talking with this years Tevis Cup winner, 72 year old Potato Richardson. AERC guests Lisa Schneider and Monica Chapman stop by to tell us about the AERC Trail Master and Trail Grants Programs as well as a great fall membership special that is currently running.

Listen live from or get the app and listen later. 6-7:30 a.m. PST on the second Tuesday of each month.

AERC Trails Grant Recipient Cache Creek Ridge Ride Completes Successful Three-Year Trail Development Project

AERC Trails Grant Recipient Cache Creek Ridge Ride Completes Successful Three-Year Trail Development Project
Implementation Lessons Provide Blueprint for AERC Ride Managers

AUBURN, California – August 10, 2015 – The Cache Creek Ridge Ride volunteers have been involved in planning, maintenance, repair and identification of trails in the Cache Creek, California area for more than six years. The group of dedicated volunteers, led by the Stalley Family including Chuck and Pam and their daughters Jennifer and Alyssa, contributed more than 100 hours to trail maintenance in the 2014 - 2015 ride year alone. In 2014, they submitted an AERC Trails Grant proposal to make an 8-mile loop out of the Cache Creek Ridge trail - a premiere scenic portion of the Cache Creek Trail, which has ultimately become a case study in AERC grant implementation.

The AERC Trails Grant allowed them to begin research and development on an area inside The Payne Ranch, a non-wilderness, recreation area owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ukiah Field Office, Ukiah, CA. The area is an old cattle ranch with roads and trails, which go in straight lines out to points without connecting into loops. AERC Trail Master and geologist Robert Sydnor, AERC Trail Master Michael Shackelford and AERC Ride Manager Chuck Stalley were all instrumental in planning the two-phased project that took three years to complete. 

To fund Phase I of the project, the group received approval of $3,000 in AERC Trails Grant funding which allowed the BLM and the trail developers to scout and flag the trail to allow for NEPA studies to begin. The BLM evaluated the spiked trail in January of 2015 and made recommendations for the trail re-route where they encountered draws and washes along the proposed route. Finally, CCC crews returned to the site in the Spring to spike the route revisions. This marked the exhaustion of the original grant funds and concluded Phase I of the trail project.

A request for funds was made to continue work brushing the spike trail, which was completed and approved by the BLM in March of 2015. Funds were applied to this project from an AERC grant written in April of 2015. In Phase II, the group began work on a loop trail to augment the currently out and back trail. It was agreed that the loop would enrich the riding experience for both the endurance event hosted on this property as well as the many recreational riders and endurance riders training in this location.
Chuck Stalley, a member of the Bear Creek Unit Steering Committee representing equestrians and the Cache Creek AERC sanctioned rides, notes that the group had the advantage of an official memorandum of understanding with the BLM, which allows for current and future use of trails for endurance events. The original BLM use plan for the Payne Ranch clearly indicates equestrian trail riding and hiking as the main purposes for which it was transferred to the BLM, with those activities receiving priority in managing the future development and use permits for the location. This Unit is charged with the preservation and development of the property and is supportive of thoughtful trail planning and networking the trails for maximum enjoyment of riders and hikers.

Upon completion of the project, AERC Trails and Land Management Committee Chair Monica Chapman believed that this project could be held up in example and asked Chuck Stalley and his wife Pam to share their experiences and lessons learned during the project to help provide a Trails Grant playbook for other ride managers. Here are their tips, in their own words:
·       First we contacted the landowners, in this case the BLM land managers, and held a PLANNING MEETING where they were asking for input into the future use of the Cache Creek Recreation area. BLM managers agreed to our idea to make a loop trail as hikers and equestrians both like to do loops rather than out and backs. This would make the final out and back trail into a loop for the Cache Creek Ridge Ride.
·       Next we were able to DEFINE A COALITION of support to finance the trail construction and early on asked AERC to partner with The Cache Creek Ridge Ride and the local BLM. Volunteers were organized and two AERC Trail Masters were contacted to consult and advise.  This show of support encourages land managers to commit to matching funds and effort. Building a coalition of interested parties is important.
·       Our third lesson? BE FLEXIBLE! We thought Winter would be the right time, but it turns out Spring worked better. It has been important to be flexible and work with people when they are available, even though Spring is the busy time for endurance riders.
·       Finally, it helps to GEAR UP if you are going to be in the trail building business. Chainsaws, a four-wheeler, a trailer, a four-wheel drive pickup, GPS and all the safety gear that goes with it is nice to have.
“It has been an educational experience to commit to a four mile equestrian trail in a remote area,” added Mrs. Stalley. “I just keep telling myself and others that someday my grandchildren might ride over this section of trail and say ‘My grandparents designed and helped build this trail!’”
All of the combined hard work that went into enhancing the trails during this project paid off when on May 2, 2015 the AERC sanctioned Cache Creek Ridge Ride managed by Jennifer Stalley, hosted their 25 / 50 mile ride competition and 148 riders finished the ride. Plans are underway to address an additional, third phase of the project later in 2015.

About the AERC's Trail Master Program

AERC sponsors Trail Master classes across the U.S. In addition to teaching endurance riders the proper way to design and build new trails -- and maintain and improve existing trails -- we invite two land managers to attend the class with riders. Mornings are spent in the classroom. A written test follows at lunch, and afternoons are set aside for field work and getting one's hands dirty.

Those who graduate from the four-day course are certified crew leaders, and can go anyplace to lead crews in the proper way to maintain, build and design trails. By working together with our land managers we can build sustainable trails for the future.

About the AERC

In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or Tevis Cup, covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.

The American Endurance Ride Conference, established in 1972, is headquartered in Auburn, California, “The Endurance Capital of the World.” For more information please visit us at

Media Contact
Candace FitzGerald
Dobbin Group LLC

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Recreational Trails Program in Senate Highway Bill

Submitted by admin on Thu, 08/06/2015

On July 30, the Senate passed its version of a multi-year national highway bill, called the DRIVE Act. The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

An amendment by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) was filed that would have eliminated the Transportation Alternatives Program, which includes the Recreational Trails Program. However, this amendment was not considered and the RTP program will continue un- changed if this bill becomes law.

Grassroots support from recreational trail users, including equestrians played an important role in making sure RTP was included in the Senate-passed bill. The AHC appreciates all the individual horsemen and organizations that contacted their Senators in support of RTP.

Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users. It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.

For now, because of disagreements over funding a multi-year highway bill, the House of Representatives is unlikely to consider the Senate Passed DRIVE Act.

In the meantime the Congress has passed a 3 mouth extension of the current highway bill, which includes the RTP program.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.

On the XP: Local Families Take A Historic Ride Across the West - Full Article


The Pony Express occupies a relatively small window in American history, but an outsized place in Wild West mythology. The mail service, in which riders carried messages via horseback for 1,800 miles from St. Jackson, Missouri to Sacramento was only in existence for 19 months — from April 3, 1860 to October 1861 — before being usurped by the modern marvel of the telegraph. It is credited with linking the then brand new state of California with the rest of the country. A good rider could gallop the distance in just 10 days, changing horses every 15 miles.

Today the trail is part of the National Park Service's trail system, and endurance riders take it at a slower pace. Four teams from Humboldt County recently completed the trail over the course of eight weeks, averaging about 50 miles a day. The XP, as it's known colloquially after the brand that once marked the flanks of Pony Express horses, still exerts a pull on the hearts of many.

Katie Azevedo, of Arcata, shared a horse with her mom Linda for the ride. While some equestrians compete for time, Katie said that she was more motivated by the opportunity to bond with Linda and get a unique perspective into the region's history...

Read more here:

Nine years since her last Tevis Cup, Napa's Lindsay Graham Fisher makes Top 10 again - Full Article

August 9 2015

By Andy Wilcox
They’ve been companions on many memorable 100-mile rides during their eight years together – the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., the 2011 Patriot’s Day Endurance Ride at Lake Almanor, where they broke the North American record with time of 6 hours, 53 minutes, the 2012 Presidents Cup in Abu Dhabi – and now the oldest 100-mile trail ride in the world.

Napa’s Lindsay Graham Fisher returned to the Tevis Cup 100-Miles-In-One-Day Trail Ride after a nine-year hiatus on Aug. 1, this time with trusty 13-year-old gelding Monk, and pulled off her second Top 10 finish in three tries at the ride along the Western States Trail from Truckee to Auburn.

They placed eighth out of 201 entrants, only 90 of which were able to finish within the 24-hour limit. They arrived at McCann Stadium 18 hours, 9 minutes after the 5:15 a.m. start at Robie Park.

“Monk is an incredible horse and athlete. He has been gifted with talent that not many horses have,” Graham Fisher of the horse, which is owned by Chris and Nancy Martin of Penn Valley. “I am not sure that I can put into words how much Monk means to me and how lucky I am to have been able to share so many wonderful experiences with this horse. Monk means the world to me. I would do anything for him, as he has already done everything for me.”

It was Graham Fisher’s first Tevis Cup attempt since 2006 when, just six years after graduating from Vintage High School, she pulled off a seventh-place finish – at the time the best-ever finish by a Napa Valley entrant in the ride. Her horse was 19-year-old Phoenix Affair, which after this year’s ride remains the oldest horse to crack the Tevis Top 10. This year’s third-place horse came close, though, at 18 years, three months...

Read more here:

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Back Country Horsemen of America Maintains and Repairs Multi-Use Trails

August 6, 2015
by Sarah Wynne Jackson
Back Country Horsemen of America values our nation’s beautiful landscape and works hard to protect our right to enjoy these lands by horseback. They also believe in being good stewards of this limited natural resource by practicing sound outdoor ethics, participating in trail maintenance, and sharing the trails with other users. To this end, BCH folks forge strong relationships with other user groups and the agencies that manage our public lands. Back Country Horsemen in Montana and Missouri recently completed trail projects that exemplify this spirit of collaboration.
Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area
The three mile trail leading to the Humbug Spires in southwestern Montana is normally a gentle walk through postcard-perfect scenery in an old growth forest braided with a clear creek. The Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area contains a group of over fifty granite spire formations just southeast of the continental divide. Popular with rock climbers, over 10 spires rise 300 to 600 feet above the forests like cathedral towers. The highest point of the study area is Mount Humbug, at 8265 feet, which offers stunning vistas of big sky country and lends a truly alpine feel to all endeavors.

A series of microburst storms in 2014 left the area riddled with downed trees, making the path challenging for even the most athletic hiker. Although the annual trail cleanup here typically consists of 10 to 20 trees, this year’s crew faced over 100 downed trees. As part of the Wilderness 50 celebration and National Public Lands Day, Mile High Back Country Horsemen of Montana assisted employees from the Bureau of Land Management’s Butte Field Office in re-opening this scenic trail.
The Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area is an 11,175 acre roadless preserve managed by the BLM as a de facto wilderness, which excludes the use of motorized or mechanized equipment. In these types of areas where the environment and ecosystem must be protected, horses and mules are invaluable for performing maintenance, repairs, and other needed work.
Six members of Mile High Back Country Horsemen assisted the trail-clearing project by hauling food, water, and hand tools on their pack and saddle stock. Some of the BCHers had already seen the trail’s condition first-hand on a pleasure ride where they found it impassable, so when the BLM asked for help, their answer was a resounding “yes.”
After a day’s work, the crew cleared 138 trees that were down on the trail, plus an additional 40 to 50 dead and leaning trees. Over a dozen water bars were fixed and several other trail repairs performed. The BLM and Mile High Back Country Horsemen of Montana hope to make trail maintenance at the Humbug Spires an annual joint project. 
Meramec Conservation Area
The Indian Trails Chapter of Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen recently improved a multi-use hiking, biking, and horseback riding trail at the Meramec Conservation Area near Sullivan. They worked in cooperation with Show-Me Missouri BCH President Larry Bast, members of the Eastern Missouri Chapter, and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The Meramec Conservation Area consists of nearly 4000 acres of varying forest types, including plantations established by the first state nursery. Sheer cliffs along the Meramec River form the western border of the area, offering a scenic view of the river valley and surrounding hills. Historic sites include a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, Lone Hill fire lookout tower, and old mines. The area is home to abundant wildlife, including a great blue heron rookery and bat caves (closed to the public to reduce the spread of white nose syndrome).
BCH volunteers used hand tools to reshape the trail and spread about 8 tons of gravel donated by Capital Quarry. Chapter member Barb Wagner drove the dump truck donated by Havin Material. The gravel was then hauled from the parking lot to the work site by horses loaded with panniers. Volunteers also closed off an old trail that was eroded and will be repaired at a later date.
The folks at Trail Blazer Magazine heard about the project, contacted Show-Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen for more information, and featured the work in their Trail Savers column.
About Back Country Horsemen of America
BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.
If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write PO Box 1367, Graham, WA 98338-1367. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Peg Greiwe
Back Country Horsemen of America

Haggin Cup winner, Auli Farwa, is a Special Horse - Full Article

by Pamela Burton
7 August 2015

He actually believes that cantering everywhere is possible

7 August 2015, California ~ The Tevis Cup 100-mile Western States Trail is a pageant of endurance. In the after hours of the ride, top ten finishing horses over the course are given the chance to show for Best Condition. For the 1 August 2015 ride, this examination and observation gave the 2015 Haggin Cup Award to Auli Farwa (Far), a flashy 15-year-old Arabian gelding with a bold white face, ridden by Jenni Smith of Moraga, California.

The Haggin Cup, created in 1964, honors the horse in the most superior condition and recognizes the rider’s sportsmanship and horsemanship.

Smith and Far finished fifth, 54 minutes behind Tevis Cup winners Potato Richardson and SMR Filouette.

Smith said her chance to ride Far was due to a skiing accident.

“I was supposed to ride Kevin Myers’ horse Stoner (Farrabba) and he was to ride Far – the same as we had done in 2014, said Smith.” But in early February, a Telluride ski slope had other ideas and Kevin required knee surgery. Myers thought Far would be up for the Haggin Cup this year, and was the better choice for Smith.

Smith picked up the story: “I was very much up for riding Far, even though he is a jack hammer. He’s fun, he’s got bottomless go and he’s all business on trail. If there’s trail, he’s goin’ down it. And he actually believes that cantering everywhere is possible, which alleviates some of the punishment.

Besides, I was going for my 10th finish and attempting on a horse with a perfect score of 62 lifetime starts, all of which he’s completed, seemed prudent...

Read more here:

Friday, August 07, 2015

Two AERC Trail Master Classes for 2016

August 7 2015

The Trails and Land Management Committee is pleased to announce two AERC Trail Master Classes scheduled for 2016.

The first is March 31-April 3, 2016 at Elkins Horse Creek Camp by Pedro, Oh.  That is the area where Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia, all merge.  Mollie Krumlaw-Smith is the host.  Please contact her for information and class space at

The second class is July 21-24, 2016 at Silver Falls State Park by Silverton, Or.  Silverton is south of Portland.  The class is sponsored by PNER.  Carlene Benson and Gail Williams are the contact people.  You may contact Carlene at and Gail at

Or feel free to contact Monica Chapman, AERC Trails and Land Management Committee Chair at

Canadian mother and daughter conquer Tevis Cup - Full Article

August 6, 2015

Alex Boates

Last weekend the annual Tevis Cup race took place in California.

The race is known worldwide as being one of the most gruelling, treacherous and dangerous endurance horse races in existence.

But that didn’t scare away 22-year-old Jaylene Janzen and her mother Christy. The duo made their way down to California last week to take part in the ride, which covered 100 miles over some of the most difficult terrain.

“The terrain there is something I’ve never been on,” Jaylene said. “The first 36 miles was on a mountain in rocks, stuff that our horses aren’t used to. We’ve done mountain rides before in the Rocky Mountains here, but it’s completely different there.”

The mother-daughter pair had only 24 hours to complete the race. With 198 riders taking part, only 90 managed to cross the finish line.

Jaylene and Christy were two of those 90.

Both finishing with final times of 23 hours and 18 minutes, the two began their race at 5:15 on the morning of Saturday, August 1. The Janzen women would cross the finish line together at 4:33 the next morning...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Fall Special: Discounts for New Endurance Riders from the AERC

AUBURN, California – August 4, 2015 – The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is making the first step to endurance riding a little easier this fall with their 2015 Fall Special promotion.
Beginning now, new members can join for the remainder of the 2015 ride season and all of the 2016 ride season, which runs through November 30, 2016, for the discounted price of $88.75. Additional adult family members are $57.50; those 17 or younger are $27.
More than a thousand riders have requested AERC’s free “Discover Endurance Riding” booklet, which shares the adventure and camaraderie experienced by members of the nonprofit organization.
“Fall is a great time to get started in endurance riding, with cooler weather and spectacular autumn foliage,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “If you’ve been riding regularly, your trail horse may be ready for one of AERC’s limited distance rides of 25 or 30 miles.”
Many endurance rides also offer 10 to 15 mile “intro” rides, just for equine and rider teams to get acquainted with ride procedures and etiquette. Each equine, even at fun rides, will be checked by a veterinarian before and after the ride, with a check that includes heart rate, limb soundness, hydration and gut sounds, to ensure the horse is deemed “fit to continue.”
“Last year’s Fall Special brought in 100 new members to AERC,” said Henkel. “We’re hoping to get even more signed up this year.” Members receive a monthly magazine, Endurance News, in the mail every month, as well as an endurance riding handbook, rule book and educational materials that come along with their membership card. Fall Special members will receive both 2015 and 2016 AERC ID cards.
About the AERC
In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, AERC has encouraged the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance, since 1972. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or Tevis Cup, covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.

The American Endurance Ride Conference, established in 1972, is headquartered in Auburn, California, “The Endurance Capital of the World.” For more information please visit us at

IT'S ALL GRAVY: Potato Richardson cruises to his 3rd Tevis Cup title in field of 90 finishers - Full Article

Monday Aug 03 2015
By: Ike Dodson of the Auburn Journal

Potato Richardson rode into the Fast Fridays Arena to the roar of applause with his head held high and his equestrian helmet hoisted even higher.

The 72-year-old endurance riding icon of Greenwood finished the 2015 Tevis Cup, a 100-mile endurance ride, in 10 hours, five minutes Saturday evening to claim his third event victory and 22nd finishing buckle on the Western States Trail.

A little tired, but radiating with post-race enthusiasm, Potato took pride in the latest feat of his life’s greatest passion.

“It took dedication, staying focused on goals,” Potato said a few minutes after his finish. “I knew I had it about three miles back.

“It’s not over till you cross that line...”

Read more here:

Monday, August 03, 2015

Auli Farwa Receives Haggin Cup at 2015 Tevis Ride - Full Article

By Marsha Hayes
Aug 3, 2015

After hours of observing the top ten finishing horses over the course of the 100-mile Tevis Cup ride, which took place Aug. 1, the cup committee named Auli Farwa (or "Far"), a 15-year-old Arabian gelding, and rider Jenni Smith of Moraga, California, the 2015 Haggin Cup winners.

The Haggin Cup, created in 1964, honors the horse in the most superior condition and recognizes the rider’s sportsmanship and horsemanship...

Read more here:

Richardson and SMR Filouette Win 2015 Tevis Cup - Full Article

By Marsha Hayes
Aug 2, 2015

A tough 60th anniversary Tevis Cup field packed with former winning riders and horses proved no match for Potato Richardson, 72, of Greenwood, California, and his 14-year-old chestnut Arabian mare SMR Filouette.

Running up front nearly all the way on the 100-mile Western States Trail in California, Richardson and Filouette finished 30 minutes before the second place team—Sizedoesntmatter, a 9-year-old gray Arabian gelding, ridden by Gwen Hall...

Read more here: